The Delhi University Teachers’ Association has been fighting for the cause of the ad-hoc teachers in DU who are denied many of the leave and other health benefits as compared to the permanent teachers.
These teachers are recruited for a period of four months and their contract is renewed thereafter on the basis of satisfactory service records and interviews.
The real problems lie in the fact that these teachers have cleared exams like NET/JRF and have completed their M.Phil, PhD, and post-doctorate from renowned universities in India and abroad.
They have been teaching for 5-10 years and have been functioning like permanent teachers but by getting their contracts renewed every four months.
Hence they are demanding the clear cut solution of the problem by regularising their temporary positions into permanent hence making them avail the benefits they deserve.
The problem that comes with the female ad-hoc teachers in DU is the non-allowance of paid maternity leaves, unlike the permanent ones who get full pay leave for a maximum 180 days twice in their career.
A recent survey on 705 teachers has revealed that 4 % of them lost their jobs, 29.3 % had to go on leave without pay, 52.5 % didn’t receive any institutional help during medical emergencies and just 14 % had received support from their institutions.
A teacher from Shri Aurobindo College filed a petition stating that according to the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 she has the right to maternity leave from the institution she works in.
But it turned out that the DU administration doesn’t apply their maternity leave concept on ad-hoc teachers. Her petition also mentioned that the Supreme Court held that a woman employee is entitled to a maternity leave irrespective of the nature of her employment- permanent or contract-based.
The whole problem, in a nutshell, is that these ad-hoc professors either have to quit their jobs or not plan a family if they don’t want to go with the first option when their institute doesn’t support them with maternity leave.
Some colleges have provided 2-4 weeks of such leaves to their teachers according to the discretion of the principal of the respective college. But still, the new mother needs more than 4 weeks to recover after delivery and the newborn should also be breast-fed for the first 6 months as per World Health Organisation (WHO).
The risky job security, no annual increments the above-stated concern of the maternity leave have led the teachers to protest and go on strike. All have gone into vain as the DU administration hasn’t done much about it yet.
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